You know you’ve got a good thing going when profitability is only a bailout away. That’s the kind of mojo that’s working at Exelon Corp., which is signaling it will seek legislation next year to provide hundreds of millions of additional dollars to its fleet of Illinois nuclear plants, which the Chicago power company contends are struggling financially.
Exelon says three of its six plants in Illinois are in the red and will stay that way without policy changes in Springfield. Presumably the other three are profitable, but Exelon won’t go into details. None of this would be much of an issue if Exelon weren’t on the cusp of seeking a blanket fix for what could be a very specific problem. The company says it plans to pursue a “market solution” in Springfield that benefits all of its nukes in Illinois, even those in the black.
Exelon says, “Looking at the regional fleet as a whole is not the right way to consider profitability.” Sorry, Exelon, but if you’re going to ask for a fleetwide bailout, it’s fair to ask how each of the plants in the fleet is doing. Would it be cheaper and smarter to shut down underperforming plants rather than continue to prop them up? We can’t know because Exelon won’t share the numbers.